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Veterans Outreach Center breaks ground on new facility

todayJanuary 18, 2024 5

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Veterans Outreach Center broke ground on a new facility that aims to take a different approach to tackling mental health struggles.

The shovels are officially in the ground for the latest project to serve Rochester-area veterans. The Veterans Outreach Center’s peer support recreation center.

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The idea came together after local vets such as Belinda Miller shared they open up best to others on their level and who speak their military language.

“Coming back was difficult in the beginning, because being on active duty, you have things that you experience and you get used to those things,” said Miller. “Coming back to civilian life is an experience that—unless you’re a veteran yourself—a lot of people don’t understand.”

Laura Heltz, the executive director of the VOC, says this center will be attached to the existing facility on South Avenue, but it will be the first of its kind to open seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. when every other area service is closed.

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“We need a space where veterans who are in that witching hour at dinner time, then the twilight hours when loneliness, isolation, PTSD, all of those things are really starting to compound and get more and more difficult,” said Heltz. “They need a safe place they can go.”

The center will also be named after the late local firefighter, Steve Preston, who served the community for many years and donated a large amount of money to see this project pull through.

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Veterans Outreach Center broke ground on a new facility that aims to take a different approach to tackling mental health struggles.

The shovels are officially in the ground for the latest project to serve Rochester-area veterans. The Veterans Outreach Center’s peer support recreation center.
These states ranked highest for Veteran-owned businesses
The idea came together after local vets such as Belinda Miller shared they open up best to others on their level and who speak their military language.

“Coming back was difficult in the beginning, because being on active duty, you have things that you experience and you get used to those things,” said Miller. “Coming back to civilian life is an experience that—unless you’re a veteran yourself—a lot of people don’t understand.”

Laura Heltz, the executive director of the VOC, says this center will be attached to the existing facility on South Avenue, but it will be the first of its kind to open seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. when every other area service is closed.
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“We need a space where veterans who are in that witching hour at dinner time, then the twilight hours when loneliness, isolation, PTSD, all of those things are really starting to compound and get more and more difficult,” said Heltz. “They need a safe place they can go.”

The center will also be named after the late local firefighter, Steve Preston, who served the community for many years and donated a large amount of money to see this project pull through. Read More MilitaryRochesterFirst  

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